The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


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  • Updated 16 October 2013
  • Updates planned: 2

Lake Mithrim

The lake to the north of the land of Mithrim

A long, narrow lake that ran west to east across the northern parts of the land of Mithrim, separating it from the plains of Hithlum beyond. The lake lay between two ranges of mountains - the Mountains of Mithrim to the west and the Mountains of Shadow to the east - and was fed by four rivers flowing out of these mountains.

The lake's greatest importance in history was as the location of the first camps of the Noldor after their return to Middle-earth. First to arrive there was Fëanor, and he set his camp on the lake's northern shores, but before it could be completed a horde of Orcs descended on the Elves. There followed the Battle-under-Stars, the Dagor-nuin-Giliath, in which the Noldor utterly defeated the Orcs, but Fëanor himself was mortally wounded.

Shortly afterwards the people of Fingolfin arrived in Mithrim. Fingolfin was Fëanor's half-brother, but he and his people had been abandoned on the eastward road, finding their way back to Middle-earth only by crossing the Grinding Ice of the Helcaraxë. The Fëanorians therefore withdrew from the northern shore of the lake and removed to the southern, while the followers of Fingolfin took their place in the north. Thus the two feuding factions of the Noldor were encamped on either side of Lake Mithrim, until Fingon's rescue of Maedhros helped to heal the rift between them. Ultimately the Sons of Fëanor resettled far to the east, and Mithrim and its lake fell under the control of High King Fingolfin.

Since long before the arrival of the Noldor, Mithrim had been home to a branch of the Grey-elves, and they remained there after the land became part of Fingolfin's realm. Even after the disaster of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, some of these Elves remained, and formed a refuge for a time at Androth, in the mountains above Lake Mithrim's western end.

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